Ohio real estate law: Treble damages available for “recklessly” damaging another’s trees or other vegetation

A powerful statute exists in Ohio for damage to trees and vegetation on the property of another.

Indeed, while one commonly would think that such a litigation tool would only be available to those injuring trees, the statute broadly covers damage to a “vine, bush, shrub, sapling, tree, or crop.”

Revised Code Section 901.51 provides, very simply:

No person, without privilege to do so, shall recklessly cut down, destroy, girdle, or otherwise injure a vine, bush, shrub, sapling, tree, or crop standing or growing on the land of another or upon public land.

In addition to the penalty provided in section 901.99 of the Revised Code, whoever violates this section is liable in treble damages for the injury caused.

Thus, any “reckless” damage to another’s vegetation of virtually any type or size can result in damages three times the value of the property damaged.

The referenced Revised Code Section 901.99 then also places criminal penalties for so damaging the vegetation on the property of another, making it a a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.


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